Youthlinc’s mission is creating lifetime humanitarians by connecting volunteers to service through a wide variety of opportunities.
The Youthlinc Service Year Program allows students to volunteer from home or abroad to villages in Cambodia, Guatemala, Kenya, Madagascar, Peru, Thailand, Fiji and Nepal. Students have the opportunity to teach seminars, undertake construction and complete anything the village needs.
“Students should take the time to help out because it helps you appreciate your community on a deeper level, and you get to experience culture abroad,” said Dolly Ames, a Thailand assistant team leader. “It changes lives, and you become a better tool for your community.”
During the summer of 2018, students in southern Utah will have the opportunity to visit Thailand to volunteer. The southern Utah Thailand 2018 service year trips will take place June 11-25, June 25-July 10 and July 9-23. The trip is $3,500 per student for airfare, lodging, food and expenses; however, if students are diligent about fundraising and seeking sponsorships, it could cost essentially nothing. With monthly meetings, Youthlinc can help students find ways to fundraise.
Youthlinc requires students to complete 80 hours of local service during the school year. Each team consists of five mentors, one team leader and 34 students. The southern team is still new, so it is still increasing in participants. Garett Garcia, a Thailand southern Utah team leader, said his time spent at Youthlinc continues to be a life changing experience.
“I’ve made new life long friendships that will help me as I move forward in life in a positive manner,” Garcia said. “I want to keep serving locally and internationally for the rest of my life, and I’ll continue to strive to help others to have those same experiences that I’ve been able to have.”
Youthlinc consists of five committees: educational, cultural, business, vocational and health that help build the organization. Each committee plans an activity the volunteers will accomplish during the two week service project. The health committee hosts health seminars and hands out hygiene kits to the community they will be helping while the educational committee teaches English lessons to the adults and kids. After introducing the volunteer group to the community, the cultural committee schedules home visits with a translator to help get to know the people the volunteers are helping, and the vocational committee gives the community the chance to learn skills relevant to different industries.
Although the volunteers dedicate their time and energy to others in need, Abbie Garrard, a Cottonwood High School senior, said service can also be a rewarding experience for those who participate in the project.
“Youthlinc to me is the greatest ingredient to happiness,” Garrard said. “I have never in my life have felt more in peace or as selfless as I could in the moments of service Youthlinc offered me. Youthlinc gave me opportunities to create life long friends and memories that I will never let go of.”
The Southern Utah team is still accepting applications. If you’d like to get involved, visit http://www.youthlinc.org/.